Close up of ballot box as a voter in Marseilles casts his ballot in the second round of French elections
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France: Conservatives lead in departmental elections

France's Conservative UMP Party and its allies appear to have come first in the second round of departmental elections.

The UMP, led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy, appeared set to secure more than 60 local councils, exit polls suggested, up from 41.

Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front also appeared to have made gains, while the ruling Socialists and their allies may lose about 30 departments.

These elections are seen as a test case ahead of 2017's presidential election.

Hugh Schofield reports.

  • 29 Mar 2015
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